Annoying Popes


Nice words from the Holy Father, again, and I thought I would spend a couple of words with you about them, and him.

More than once, reading the Pope’s utterances, I am reminded of a dish of spaghetti alla Carbonara: a simple, but very savoury and always pleasant dish (actually, I now think I’ll have them for lunch today…). And in fact, if our Holy Father can certainly not be called a theological high-flyer one cannot deny he has, like a good Carbonara, more than some pepper.

The last rustic dish cooked for us from the Holy Father is here, and again it has the strong but genuine flavours of the Italian kitchen: be zealous, don’t be afraid even to annoy, let people know where you stand, do not shrink back from the unpleasantness of confrontation for the right reasons. 

Up to here, it is all very well.

The problem I see is, though, that the Holy Father himself is a living example of the very behaviour he criticises.

In the two months since he has been Pope, one issue has dominated the world news both in and outside the religious sphere: the so-called gay marriage. Have you heard one single word from the Pontiff about this?

One. Single. Word? 

The one who tells us to be zealous, to be obnoxious, to be unpopular, to dare the fight, and who is the first one who has the duty to be zealous, to be obnoxious, to be unpopular, and to dare to fight, seems more interested in being lukewarm, agreeable, popular, and able to only crash open doors (poverty, social justice, and all that jazz); he manages, though, to be astonishingly silent, and utterly non-existent, when a real controversy presents itself. So yes, this Pope does manage to be annoying, but not for the reasons he (rightly) says we should. 

God is punishing us all right for the madness of the last 50 or 60 years, by allowing the Princes of the Church to continue in their ways. We must endure this prayerfully, and hope for better times.

Still, the next time I hear someone saying all must be fine because Francis is the Pope the Holy Ghost hand picked for us I will be tempted to slap him in the face.


Posted on May 18, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. To continue your culinary allusion there is another apt saying: “Fine words butter no parsnips.” One still awaits some form of action but it appears to this onlooker that delegation of papal responsibility is going on apace.
    In a narrower way Pope Francis would seem to be adopting the modus operandi of Pope Emeritus Benedict in attempting to lead by example. But where Benedict provided a number of signposts for the clergy and the faithful this is singularly lacking so far in the current papacy.
    It is evident that Pope Francis is more at ease in a more intimate domestic setting, notwithstanding his greeting the crowds which needs little more than smiles and a few kisses. But unless he is working behind the scenes at the Vatican there is the danger that the comfortable status quo in the western church will be reaffirmed by default and the hierarchy will go on its merry and untroubled way.

    • I like that with the parsnip!

      (To think I eat my parsnip with olive oil and salt…)

      I never understood the leading by example thing. It only works with those who want to obey anyway. But the Pope is there to enforce the obedience of those who do not want to obey first. The Pope is a king, not a consultant. He must prescribe, not suggest.


  2. Please do slap that person in the face….in the name of charity (maybe the slap will wake them up). Then, be sure to remind that person (as I’m sure you will) that men such as “Cardinal” Dolan, who is obviously not being led by the Holy Ghost, is one of the men who was entrusted with voting in our Pope.

    Saving souls…..the ONLY purpose of the clergy, the ONLY reason that they exist….means nothing to these men. They are politicians, they are celebrities, they are proponents of social/economic injustice (meaningless pursuits when all is said and done)…..but they are not SAVERS OF SOULS.

    • My mother always told me I shouldn’t go around slapping people in the face…

      but then again, my mother isn’t infallible…


  3. radjalemagnifique

    Merkel completely satisfied with new Pope.

    As well as she had critized Benedict XVI some years ago. “Cherchez l’erreur !” (Kirchensteuer ahead?)

    Here, in France, the mainstream press, the gross of the clerics – especially the high levelled ones – and the so said “catholic” and other “christian” journalists (orthodox, yes! and evangelistic, no surprise) applaud this Pope. The “people” don’t seem to be very much interested in all that mess.

    In the meantime, I will join once more the big demonstration on May 26 which will be held in Paris against the absurd “marriage” of … what could I say: a marriage of a cat with a “harundinem vento agitam”? (Mt 11,7)?

    Radja le Magnifique

    • The Pope is, for the time being, very much in fashion. Particularly because he doesn’t do much that would stop this state of things, does he now…

      In my personal experience this Pope has many friends among those who don;t attend Mass and don’t know much about Catholicism. A winning smile and a whiff of modernity, coupled with the noise about his very much paraded humbleness, is enough for them.


  4. radjalemagnifique

    Here the link to my previous statement a few seconds before concerning the mainstream press:


  5. Slapping the pope can land you automatic excommunication. It’s in Canon law. 😉 Canon 1370.

    • Not planning to slap any Pope, 😉 though at least one of my grandmothers would be, were she still alive, severely tempted to…


  6. Patrick Gray

    Very true. I cannot remember if it was JRR Tolkien or Evelyn Waugh (an English Catholic, at any rate) who said that the changes imposed at the Second Vatican Council and the terrible heresy and apostasy that followed them, in the laity and in the Hierarchy, were ‘a bitter trial’, nevertheless, Mundabor, it is a bitter trial we shall have to endure. We have the Holy Faith whatever the Modernist heretics say.

    I rather think the Church in these islands is recovering a little – the Oratories, Juventutem, the Latin Mass Society, the FSSP in Edinburgh (if you’re ever in the Scottish capital, St. Andrews on the Belford Road has a daily Latin Mass at eight in the morning), a little recovery of monastic life. Perhaps – although I doubt it – there is a little hope.

    I still rather disbelieve the whole ‘gay marriage’ thing, that such an abomination could be so widely accepted so fast. What has become of this country? How could the Devil win such a victory so very fast? In fifty years, to plunge Britain into a second Sodom and Gomorrah?

    • I fully agree.

      It is said in Italy that in a lake of mud you can find some water lilies.

      I think it depicts the present situation rather well.. 😉


  7. victoriatrujillo4

    He may not be our cup of tea, but I don’t see how else he could do it. The Church has no credibility with all the scandals surfacing routinely, and the report of the Polish priest was the icing on the cake. It is back to basics. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt for a few more days. He knows the wolves are ready to tear him to pieces. Let us pray a little harder for him to have the guts.

    • Victoria, I am curious now,

      Why do you think the wolves are ready to tear him up to pieces?

      He is adult and vaccinated, right? He is the one who appoints all the “wolves”, right? He is the one who can demote every Bishop and every Cardinal, right?

      If you ask me, Popes are never torn to pieces by wolves. They are far too powerful, and far too cunning (they became Popes, remember).


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